For the longest time, Internet marketers considered Google to be THE search engine. Every business SEO marketing campaign targeted keywords to become one the highest ranking sites on Google. However, the Google algorithms have changed and Internet marketers are in a rush to keep up. It can be both confusing and challenging.
Many marketers still are not aware of any changes and cannot figure out why their website is not ranking higher in Google. Ryan Stewart, a digital marketer and web and SEO expert at WEBRIS, recently wrote an article explaining why he stopped selling SEO services. Stewart pointed out that when you initiate a search on Google, the top ranking results are not sales pages or business website home pages. The results are reviews, listicles, or content-rich articles.
The Google algorithm is basically giving customers what they want – the ability to:
- learn more about a product
- compare the product to similar products
- read what other people think about the product
Although the customers are able to get what they want, marketers may be confused about how to go about getting noticed again. There are a few ways you can make SEO work for you despite new algorithms.
Google Is Not the Only Search Engine
Google has become a way of life for many people in this digital fast-paced world. However, there are actually other search engines. Bing and Yahoo are frequently used for searches. But were you aware that sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, eBay, Yelp, and LinkedIn are all search engines? There are many more and the most important take-away is the fact that your community (tribe or following) are using these search engines/platforms.
Where Are All the People?
You can still use SEO, but you need to be strategic about how and where you place keywords. You need to establish the places your prospects are using for research and ideas. If you are a recruiter, you may find most of your tribe at LinkedIn. If your prospects are working mothers, your community can probably be found on Facebook and Pinterest. To stay relevant, you must get away from the notion that SEO marketing is all about the Google rankings. It is about the value you can give the people.
Valuable content will trump spam keyword articles every time. Your prospects value high-quality content-rich articles. People get excited about useful information, especially when it might help a friend. This content becomes highly shareable and increases your chance of the content ranking high in search engines all through organic search. As people like and share your content on Facebook and Pinterest, they are virtually displaying the effective method of word of mouth.
Paid Advertisements May Be the Way to Go
Stewart points out that just like Facebook generated paid ads for monetization, Google may be headed in that direction, too. When you inquire on a topic, the search results page will list reviews, listicles, and content. But, it also lists paid advertisements with a button that reads “Sponsored” or “Ads”. These ads may be paid ads or PPC. Just remember the trust factor. If you have not built a relationship with the prospect through your web presence, they will have no reason to choose you over another vendor.
SEO may feel obsolete, however it is not. Google is still the most popular way to search. Narrow down your target audience and research what platforms they are using. You will want to establish a web presence and optimize your website to attract the right people for your product or service.